Dec 19, 2011

Google's "Majel" Aimed to Compete With Apple's Siri

The folks over at Android and Me have reportedly come across some details regarding a project named “Majel.” The project is apparently Google’s voice control project that sounds very similar to Apple’s Siri.

Before you go ahead and start claiming that Google is jumping the voice control bandwagon, don’t forget that Google actually included voice controlled actions and search in its own iOS app already and that Android has had functions like voice-to-text baked in for a while. It’s already known that these interactions can’t compare against the things Siri can do, which is why Google is reportedly working on putting together “Majel.”

The system is apparently named after Majel Barret-Roddenberry, the wife of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, and the voice of many of the computer interfaces in the science fiction series. The project is under development by Google’s Google X experimental labs as of right now and when it does appear, it is likely that it will only perform Google Searches. The final plan though according to a Google representative in an interview is that “every piece of computing surface, everything is voice-aware. It’s not that there’s a personality, it doesn’t have a name, it’s just a computer.” 

The whole idea seems to differ from Siri’s main purpose. Apple is marketing Siri as a personal assistant whereas Google seems to be taking the opposite approach. Nothing is personal, it’s just a computer providing convenience. The difference is quite big and may play a major role in the success but only time will tell. As of right now, the idea does sound interesting. Competition for Siri is a good thing for us users as it will cause the companies to provide more features for us users. Given that Apple actualy bought Siri instead of trying to develop it from scratch, odds are whatever Google puts together might not exceed Apple’s offering in innovation, but that’s fine. Whatever Google comes up with will still likely be an extra luxury at our disposal and will likely work on our iOS devices as well.

What do you think? Are you excited for “Majel” to be released? Share any thoughts and opinions below!


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